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How to become a Teaching Assistant

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Sarah Trueman teaching assistant, TA, guide to become a teaching assistant...

How to become a teaching assistant

Teaching Assistants play an important role in schools, supporting teachers in the classroom and children with learning activities and emotional development.


For people who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of children, a teaching assistant role could be a perfect career opportunity. You will be resilient, passionate, and patient. You will have a strong desire to work with children and you will enjoy seeing the developments of the children as they progress through the academic years. 


Do I need a qualification to become a teaching assistant?


There are various qualifications that people undertake, from Level 3 Awards in Childcare to Level 2 & 3 Teaching Assistant qualifications. These qualifications will teach you the fundamental skills of being a teaching assistant, along with the roles and responsibilities you will carry out. They will also allow you to gain experience working with children as there are practical elements to these courses.


These qualifications are often what people do when they have left school and want a vocational qualification, or sign up to after having children as they look for a rewarding role that works around the school hours. However, a teaching assistant qualification is not essential for getting a job as a teaching assistant. 


Can I be a teaching assistant with no formal qualifications?


As we have just mentioned, a formal qualification is not essential to get a job as a teaching assistant. Our schools often want staff who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of their children. We do, however, require referenceable experience of working or volunteering with children.


The demand for teaching assistants to support schools via our agency is higher than ever before. Whilst qualifications are great, the time you truly learn about the role is when you are in the classroom with the children. At Vetro Recruitment we value experience, so to become a teaching assistant with us we need all applicants to have at least 3 months’ experience working or volunteering with children. 


What qualifies as experience?


We wanted to highlight some examples of what qualifies as experience for us to accept to progress your application:

  • Working with children in any paid role -  previous experience as a teaching assistant, children’s support worker, community work with children, youth clubs, children’s sports clubs, etc.

  • Children’s sports coach or manager (This can be a volunteer position, once a week, as you support your child’s club).

  • Volunteering at your local youth club, after-school club, church, etc.


We do require that this experience is within the past 5 years and that a reference can be provided.


We will also require references for past work or character references for any gaps in your CV, along with a DBS and registration with the EWC. 


Why would I consider working as an agency teaching assistant?


Many teaching assistants will start working with an agency, such as Vetro. As an agency teaching assistant, you can choose where you want to work, and how often you want to work. You can work at a variety of schools that will give you amazing experiences in different settings, helping you to identify where your passions truly lie. You can work in primary schools, secondary schools, or within SEN schools. Quite often you can be offered long-term placements too if preferred, and many of our agency teaching assistants will go on to be offered a permanent placement.


We are proud of the relationships we have with our schools. Our partnerships are based on mutual values and ethics so we know you are being placed at the best schools. 


What will be my roles and responsibilities?


Whilst you will help the teachers prepare the classroom for lessons, you will be mostly supporting and supervising the children with the day-to-day classroom activities. Children need support and supervision with their learning activities, but they also need nurturing with their social and behavioural skills.


What benefits do I get as a Vetro Teaching Assistant?


Partnering with Vetro will provide you with the flexibility to choose when and where you want to work. You can choose to expand your knowledge and experiences by working at a variety of schools, or you can look for a long-term placement for consistency. It really does depend on your personal needs and goals. 


We can also support you with resources and tools to help you be the best teaching assistant you can be. You will get paid weekly (£65 per day), receive holiday pay, contributory pension, free training, and entry into our worker of the month scheme (to win £50) and our Golden Ticket annual draw to be in with a chance of winning our grand prize of £1000. You will also have a personal consultant that will support you fully.


How soon can I start?


If you have the relevant experience we can start your registration process immediately. Depending on how quickly you can complete the registration will determine how soon you can start. In cases where we need to wait for your DBS or references, this process can take several weeks. However, if you already have a DBS on the update service and EWC registration, with references and ID all on hand, we can get you compliant and out to work in 24-hours. It really is person-by-person dependent. 


If you are looking to start a new career as a teaching assistant in 2022, we would love to speak to you. Get the ball rolling today and you could be ready to start for the January school term. 


You can meet the team here or visit our live vacancies. We are on the NPS Framework meaning we can support schools all across Wales. You can let us know where you want to work and we will do our best to get you into schools within your desired locations.


We also offer a referral scheme so if you also have friends and family interested in working as a teaching assistant or a supply teacher, refer them to us here and if they register and start working with us, you can get up to £250 of high street vouchers per referral!


Contact us today to get started.